No surprises from Lancaster as England bring in Wilson

As expected, George Ford has also been named on the replacements bench for match against Ireland

David Wilson  (left) will start in the front row against Ireland.

David Wilson (left) will start in the front row against Ireland.


England have selected David Wilson at tighthead prop and named uncapped outhalf George Ford on the bench for Saturday’s Six Nations match against Ireland.

Wilson comes straight into the starting XV to fill the void left by Dan Cole’s season-ending neck injury and Ford takes Brad Barritt’s spot among the replacements.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster confirmed that Cole, who is suffering from a bulging disc that is trapping a nerve, will be rested for three months before being reassessed.

The outlook on the British and Irish Lions front row means he will miss the remainder of Leicester’s season and is highly unlikely to feature on the summer tour to New Zealand.

“We have been forced into one change and we wish Dan Cole all the best for his recovery,” Lancaster said.

“However, David Wilson is an experienced international with 31 caps and he showed in his three starts against Argentina last year what he can do.

“It’s great to have George involved. He has settled in well and we are confident in his ability should he get his opportunity from the bench.”

Wilson has played only 47 minutes of rugby in the last two months with that appearance coming in Bath’s 27-23 victory over Exeter on Saturday.

The 28-year-old suffered a calf injury during a training game in December and his return was further delayed by a tight back.

With replacement tighthead Henry Thomas deemed unready to start a match of this magnitude, however, Wilson has been drafted straight into the front row where he will lock horns with Cian Healy.

Lancaster admitted on Monday that England are “not in an ideal situation” and Wilson himself is unsure how long he will last at Twickenham.

Mindful of the lack of depth at tighthead, the selection of George Ford is borne out of the need to also increase the number of options at outhalf.

Should Owen Farrell, who is first choice in the position, suffer an injury, England are short of cover and need to give Ford his Test debut as soon as possible.

England, targeting a fourth successive victory over Ireland, will be playing at Twickenham for the first time this year after losing to France in Paris and routing Scotland at Murrayfield.

“We are excited about being back at our home after two games on the road,” Lancaster said.

“The Twickenham crowd during the November internationals was superb and I’m sure it’ll be the same again on Saturday.”

England: M Brown (Harlequins); J Nowell (Exeter), L Burrell (Northampton), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester), J May (Gloucester); O Farrell (Saracens), D Care (Harlequins); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton), D Wilson (Bath), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), T Wood (Northampton), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Vunipola (Saracens).

Replacements: T Youngs (Leicester), M Vunipola (Saracens), H Thomas (Sale), D Attwood (Bath), B Morgan (Gloucester), L Dickson (Northampton), G Ford (Bath), A Goode (Saracens).

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.